Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the third installment of the Transformers franchise from director Michael Bay and producer Steven Spielberg. After seeing the festering turd of a sequel, I wasn't expecting much out of the third. I was right.
Through a collection of real and CG footage, we are informed that the race to space in the 1960s was due to the crash-landing of an alien spacecraft on the far side of the moon. This crash took place after an epic battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons for control of Cybertron, the Autobots home planet. The technology retrieved from the spacecraft was brought back to earth and immediately classified. We jump to present day, (and an immediate shot of Rosie Huntinton-Whiteley's ass) where Sam Witwicky, now out of college and jobless, lives in Washington D.C. with his unrealistically hot girlfriend, Carly. We see Sam struggle with unemployment and the fact that his girlfriend works for Dylan, (Patrick Dempsey) a smooth, sexy entrepreneur and collector of bad-ass vehicles. Meanwhile, Col. Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and his team are called to investigate suspicious activity at Chernobyl, where they encounter Shockwave, a massive, snake-like Decepticon. We find out that there is more to the crash-landing than originally revealed, and Sam is quickly pulled back into the fray thanks to a paranoid co-worker (Ken Jeong).
About an hour and half into the film we are still trying to figure out what is going on and how to stop it. After Sam puts the pieces together, the movie rockets to it's conclusion in a whirlwind of plot twists and turns. Friends become enemies, enemies become friends, thousands upon thousands of civilians are killed (of which no one seems to really care), there are random love sub-plots, unresolved anger issues, lots of shouting, and in all of the commotion, Carly still manages to keep her white ensemble dirt-free. Upside: awesome wing suit-jump by Col. Lennox and his team over the Chicago skyline and an epic Prime-on-Prime duel. Downside: dare I name them all.
I remember now why I bear such a strong disliking towards Shia LeBeouf. Apparently, intelligent mechanical beings from outer space leave Sam Witwicky unable to control the volume of his voice, even when indoors. The desolate dialogue cannot be saved even by Frances McDormand--decidedly one of the best actors of our time---who plays a high-ranking, no-bull-shit government official assigned to the investigation of the found technology. Another heavy-hitter, John Malkovich, makes an appearance, but his character disappears about half-way through the film with no explanation. John Turturro and Alan Tudyk are wonderful as the lovable comic relief; they make the movie. Without them, I would have died from boredom---or perhaps a massive aneurysm from the "RealD" technology.
Don't miss Transformers: Dark of the Moon in IMAX, playing locally in Austin at The Bob Bullock Museum. Get tickets here.